The Moms Behind The Medals: Raising an Olympian

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of P&G

Moms inspire us, they support us, they stand behind us. They
are our biggest fans and cheerleaders – and you better believe that the moms of
the Olympic athletes are cheering their hearts out!

As athletes prepare
for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Procter & Gamble is proud to offer
them a chance to show their gratitude to the women who have supported them on
their journey. As part of their Thank You, Mom campaign,  P&G has provided all 357 moms of US Olympians and
Paralympians with a $1,000 VISA gift card to help them make the trip to Sochi.

As part of the campaign, several athletes from the P&G
family starred in a segment of Raising an Olympian – a film series that
showcases the hurdles these competitors have overcome to chase their dreams,
through the eyes of their mothers. The first four to be featured were 2014 Winter
Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls Lindsey Vonn (representing Olay, COVERGIRL
& Pantene), Evan Lysacek (representing Crest), and Julie Chu and Taylor
Lipsett, both representing Bounty. You can learn more about their stories
below.

Lindsey Vonn and her
mom Lindy Lund

Skier Lindsey Vonn is one of six women to have won World Cup
races in all five disciplines of alpine skiing. Born in Minnesota, Vonn began
skiing at age two and eventually moved to Colorado to continue her training. She
was so determined to become an Olympian that she began practicing her autograph
at the age of 8.

Her mom Lindy has faced physical challenges since suffering
a stroke during Lindsey’s birth but has always remained optimistic. Lindsey
says her mom has “always been a great
person for all of us to look up to, just watching her not being able to do some
of the physical things that she wanted to do because of the stroke… she can’t
participate but she’s always there and she’s always cheering for me.”
Lindy
watches every race, even if it means getting up in the middle of the night to
watch her daughter on TV.

Always Lindsey’s biggest supporter, Lindy offers additional
encouragement, “You have to work hard.
Nothing comes free. You work harder than anyone else and you can be the best.”

 

 

Evan Lysacek and his
mom Tanya

Figure Skater Evan Lysacek was the United States Olympic
Commitee’s Sportsman of the Year in 2010, in addition to being an Olympic
Champion, Four Continents champion, and two-time U.S. National Champion.  Raised in Naperville, Illinois, Lysacek has
the support of his father, two sisters, and mother Tanya, a substitute teacher.
He began skating at age eight, after his grandmother gave him ice skates as a
Christmas gift.

When Evan was just starting out, Tanya encouraged him,
saying,“If that’s your dream, you just
have to work for it.”
Both Lysacek and Tanya describe skating as a game
where you have to continue to pick yourself up after falling, again and again.
His hard work and dedication helped him overcome initial self-doubt and a fall
in the Torino Games and four years later, he struck Olympic gold.

As Tanya
explains, “There is still not a word
in the English language that can describe how a mom feels when they see their
child accomplish something that huge.”

 

 

Taylor Lipsett and
his mom Cheryl

Ice sled hockey forward and Paralympic gold and bronze
medalist Taylor Lipsett and his mom discussed their unique journey to the
Paralympics. Despite living with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic bone
disorder sometimes known as “brittle bone disease,” Taylor has had an
inspirational career in the world of sled hockey. After discovering the sport
in a brief grocery store conversation with a friend, Taylor dedicated his life
to winning a gold medal.

“The biggest lesson I
learned from my mom was to just focus on what I could do, not what I couldn’t.”

Despite doctors telling him at 5 years old that he could
never play sports, Cheryl says “I told
him, you can do anything you set your mind to. I wanted him to be that little
boy that he was supposed to be.”

Taylor focused on stick handling and being able to score
goals, knowing that he wouldn’t be the most physical player on the ice. And after
Cheryl received a cancer diagnosis, Taylor was able to give back some of the
love he felt growing up, becoming her caregiver and emotional support.

 

Julie Chu and her mom
Miriam

Julie Chu plays forward on the US Women’s Ice Hockey Team
and defense for the Montreal Stars. A three-time Olympic medalist, Julie
competed in her first Olympic Games in Salt Lake City at the age of 19. She
started playing hockey at just 8 years old, after an initial attempt at figure
skating and after watching her brother play hockey.

CHU – commitment, honor, and unity, is the family name and
motto that encourages mom and daughter every day.  This one-for-all and all-for-one attitude has
made Chu an amazing team player both on and off the ice.

When Chu was injured
before her first Olympic Games, she overcame her fear and insisted on risking
her place on the team to tell her coach about her injury.  Miriam was proud of how seriously her
daughter took their values of teamwork and honesty in such a difficult moment.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending, as the coach assured her that she
had earned her place on the team, and she worked through her injury to make it
to the games.

To view the photos and videos of these inspirational
relationships and to find additional information on the P&G Thank You, Mom
campaign, visit https://www.facebook.com/thankyoumom.

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